Why do raccoons like to wash things?

2020-11-16 | Zhong Ming talks about science Original |

When talking about raccoons, the first thing people think of is instant noodles, followed by their cleanliness. No matter what food is put in their hands, they will always find water and wash them before eating.

Because of this, some people will give raccoons marshmallows mischievously. When the raccoons put the marshmallows in the water, the marshmallows will melt quickly, leaving only the silly raccoons looking for their marshmallows..

But raccoons are also very smart. If you play with raccoons 3-5 times with the same trick, raccoons will understand that marshmallows are food that cannot be cleaned. They will avoid letting marshmallows stick to water, and they willThey eat up.

In addition to food, the raccoon will also put all things that can be touched into the water, such as clothes, shoes, etc. People who have good things have put clothes next to them, and the raccoons will pick up the clothes.Wash clothes like humans. When this happens more often, raccoons are known for their special love of washing clothes, so that people who mention raccoons will also think of the scene of their hard washing clothes.

Researchers have really studied why raccoons like to wash things, and the reasons are dumbfounding.

Why raccoons like to wash things

The raccoon is native to North America. It likes to live in the forest and live on omnivores. Because it likes to clean food, it is called raccoon in Chinese, and its scientific name "lotor" is the same as the Chinese name, which means cleaning.

Nowadays, raccoons are distributed in a wide range, and there are a lot of them, and there is no danger of extinction. In addition, raccoons are very clever. If they are raised from a young age, raccoons will be more well-behaved, so some places will also use raccoons as pets.

A long time ago, people noticed that raccoons like to wash things very much. If they give them a fruit, they will wash the fruit in water before eating. Scientists believe that raccoons are as good at taking photos as humans.Importance of clean food.

But this argument was quickly ruled out because raccoons live in wild forests, and the water sources in forest areas are not as clean as human tap water. This is equivalent to saying that even if they clean the food, the food will still contain moreMicrobes.

Furthermore, if there is no water, the raccoons will also eat the food in front of them.

Some people think that raccoons have no salivary glands and cannot secrete saliva, so they need to moisten the food before eating. But later it was discovered that raccoons have salivary glands.

The more mainstream theory nowadays is that raccoons washing things are not because they are really clean, but because they are understanding things.

Raccoon's hand

The front paws of raccoons can act as both claws and hands. When they live in the wild, they like to explore the world around with their hands. Some people think that this is because raccoons have poor eyesight and can only be found through touchFood, but the researchers say that raccoons have good eyesight, but raccoons like to hunt by the water, and the water in the forest is full of fallen leaves and other substances, making it difficult for them to see underwater scenes. At this time, their flexible handsIt came in handy.

Raccoons are omnivores. Crabs, shrimps and amphibians in the water are their food. Sometimes they touch things around in the water when they have no food in their hands. They are actually looking for food.

Raccoons’ front paws have five fingers like humans, and the hair on the fingers is bare, so that their skin can receive tactile feedback. Moreover, the number of tactile nerves on their front paws is much higher than that of most mammals., Almost comparable to humans.

In addition, when they are in water, the sensitivity of their hands to touch will greatly increase, because the soaking of water can soften the cuticle of the front paw.

Because of this, after they get food, they will put them in the water to "wash". Actually, this action is not washing, but exploring whether this thing is food or what tactile food is.

So, when we put the clothes in front of them, although they will put the clothes in the water to "wash", but they think of "what is this stuff, is it delicious?"


Although raccoons are cute and rarely attack humans, they do cause some trouble to humans. Raccoons reproduce fast and they are very adaptable. Many raccoons settle in European cities and rely on picking up garbage and ""Robbing" human kitchens for a living.

In some countries, raccoons that are flooded like mice often come to the house to steal food in the middle of the night and make loud noises, making it difficult for people to fall asleep. Other raccoons will "dismantle their homes" like dogs, making their owners helpless.

However, because of this, some people fall in love with these troublesome raccoons and even keep them as pets.

Special statement

This article was uploaded and published on Baidu Know Daily from the media, the author, etc. It only represents the author's views, and does not mean that Baidu knows the views or positions of the daily, and knows that the daily only provides an information publishing platform. For cooperation and contributions, please contact zdribao@baidu.com.

+1 Like it Like

Follow the author

Zhong Ming talks about science
A serious talk about science

Know the popular articles in daily newspapers

www.knowledge-daily.com e-mail: k@knowledge-daily.com